Dogs may be man's best friend, yet there's a lot we still don't know about them. Each passing year is providing us, however, with a better clarity than we had the year before, allowing us further valuable insight into how canines function and what makes them tick. Here is a list of eight interesting facts about dogs, you may have been unaware of, that shed more light on our furry kids.
1. Night Vision
Dogs’ eyes are equipped with a special membrane, called the tapetum lucidum, that allows them far better vision than ours when it's dark.
2. Three Times the Protection
Dogs have three eyelids: an upper lid, a lower lid and a third eyelid that extends from the inner corner of the eye, called a "haw" or nictitating membrane, which helps keep their peepers moist and protected.
3. Colorblindness, Fact or Fiction?
For ages scientists thought dogs were basically colorblind, seeing only monochromatic images. That's now thought to be false. It is currently believed that dogs do see colors, albeit primarily in blue, greenish-yellow, yellow and various shades of gray. But, hey, colors are colors.
4. Super Sniffers
We've always known dogs had superior sniffers when it comes to smells, but did you know their sense of smell is 10,000 – 100,000 times better than that of our own? Well, it is.
5. The Nose Knows
And it isn't just sniffing that allows dogs to detect and evaluate scent. It turns out one of the reasons a dog's nose is wet is because they actually secrete a thin layer of mucous to help absorb scent. Their ability to lick their own noses makes it possible for them to then taste the smell through their mouth as well, helping them to further identify it.
6. Taste Test
Speaking of taste, dogs have about 1,700 taste buds as compared to humans, who have approximately 9,000. While this is a big difference, cats are believed to have only about 473.
7. What's That You Say?
Besides being able to outsniff us, dogs can run laps around us in the hearing department, too. If you're not familiar, sound frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz). The higher the Hertz, the higher-pitched the sound is. Dogs are said to hear best at 8,000 Hz. Humans? We register at only around 2,000 Hz.
8. Rotating Mobile Units
Many mammals have ears that can be moved or adjusted to better tune in sound, much like an antenna searching for a signal. Dogs are among them. It helps, then, that there are more than a dozen separate muscles in dogs' ears for controlling movement.
Remember, the more we know and understand about our pets the better we can care for them and accommodate their needs.